It had been years in the making. After countless police visits and plenty of vindictive drama, they were finally in a position to do something about the horrible person.
She fixed a wide smile, rang the doorbell, and then handed over the little piece of paper that would forever change everyone’s lives.
Emily Swanson and her husband had been saving for their dream home in Hawaii for years.
Through frugal living and a bit of market luck, they were finally able to rent a beautiful, 5-bedroom slice of paradise – complete with a spacious backyard and oceanfront dock. Everything seemed perfect … until she met the neighbor.
The first explosion happened after Emily and her husband threw away an old playset.
Tanya, a robust woman with an unhealthy fondness for leopard print and profanity t-shirts stormed over and bellowed that they had no right to take away her children’s toys. Emily restrained her fury and calmly reminded her of two very important facts.
First, the set was on their property and the mutual landlord of the duplex said it was okay.
Second, she knew where the property line was and the kids were welcome to play as long as they were respectful of the space. Emily already felt a thick stab of dislike for the woman. But a few weeks later, she heard pounding music.
Leopard lady had taken the “kids can play” invitation as a sign she was allowed to host an enormous family party sprawled across the entire lawn.
Emily seethed as they were tersely ordered to stay inside because it was a “friends and family only” event. Then came the unbelievable kicker that made Emily see red.
While Emily and her husband hunkered down in their living room to escape the noise, in wandered one of Leopard Lady’s drunken party-guests.
Emily told the staggering man that her neighbor’s house was on the other side of the property… to which he replied: “Tanya said she owned the whole property and to use whichever bathroom.” Emily was gobsmacked, “Um… What?!” But, moments later, her entitled neighbor stormed in screaming.
In a flurry of garish animal-print and cheap perfume, Emily’s neighbor charged in, screaming that how dare Emily make her look bad to her friends, and how selfish Emily was that she couldn’t spare just one bathroom.
Tanya continued to berate Emily and her husband, saying that they didn’t deserve all that space for themselves. That was it! No more!
It was time to teach Tanya a well-deserved lesson. And, since they’d be spending the money anyway, why not update the patio, put in a firepit, and build an outdoor kitchen?
The bill was painful right down to the bones, but the quality was good and the workers were very skilled. Emily was moving some things around the patio when she overheard something odd. There, in the middle of the construction, was her neighbor.
“What’s going on here?” the woman yelled rudely. Emily decided to tell her about the upgrades. As soon as Tanya heard about the improvements to the yard, her eyes lit up.
While that awful woman was already planning her next shindig in the “shared” yard, Emily walked away with an evil smile creeping across her face.
As Emily sipped on her morning Cortado, and watched the workers erect a fence with pure satisfaction, another round of ear-piercing adult tantrums echoed across the waves.
Tanya was furious with the new boundary. Emily and her husband rolled their eyes at each other. It was the start of the not-so-passive aggressive war. Then, Billy entered the picture.
Billy was Tanya’s boyfriend. He immediately began to throw his cigarette butts and beer cans over the fence and into Emily’s yard for “disrespecting his woman.”
He and Tanya became true neighbors from hell, having loud arguments and parties at all hours of the night. Billy was obviously on Tanya’s side about the fence fiasco. And Billy also had a boat.
It was a 30-inch fishing boat, to be precise. Only, Tanya’s side of the property was only allocated 15 inches of dockage. Emily’s side of the property, as the larger and more expensive side of the duplex, was blessed with around 150 inches of docking space.
To make some extra money, Emily and her husband would rent the extra docking spaces that they didn’t need on a month-to-month basis and renters would tie up their boats on their property line. So, what did Billy and Tanya decide to do?
One day, Emily was perplexed to find that someone had left a nasty review for her on the site that they used to rent out the docking spaces.
The disgruntled customer said that Emily and her husband were rude and had not honored a verbal agreement to let them use the space for three more months. After a phone call, Emily quickly put two and two together.
Emily was furious. The couple had posed as her and her husband while they were out of town, had rudely told the renter to remove their boat, and had audaciously parked Billy’s fishing boat in the space!
Unbelievable! Emily wasted no time. Now it was her turn to call the cops. The situation was getting well out of hand.
The cops ordered Tanya and Billy to move the boat immediately or it would be “towed.” Tanya and Billy began to scream that the boat is on their property and that Emily was a liar.
Then, they switched tack and screamed that nobody “could own the water.” After this final incident, Emily vowed to get payback… and she didn’t care if it took years to get it.
It was supposed to years of blissful mornings with fruit salad and watching the ocean. Instead, cigarette butts and other garbage were tossed over regularly.
Weekly parties became louder and louder, and Tanya’s horrible children’s new favorite pastime was throwing lit fireworks at her boat. Emily felt helpless. But karma was waiting just around the corner.
Months turned into years and the police eventually knew their address by heart because it was the horrible neighbor’s main ammunition. Emily turned despondent as her heavenly paradise turned sour and rotten.
She had just about given up on her dreams and even considered moving just to get away from it all. But then, fate stepped in.
It didn’t matter that the police sided with Emily every single time. Each financial installment in their rent-to-own property felt more like a devastating investment into misery.
Sickening stress was now a constant in their life. She was on the verge of giving up altogether when the landlord suddenly offered a very interesting opportunity.
The housing market was insane and the old man was tired of being a landlord – especially to the “crazy girl that never shuts her pie hole.”
Emily’s jaw dropped to the ground as he offered the wonderful, utterly magical solution to all of her problems. Fruit salad and tranquility would be in her future again!
The old man was desperate to sell the other half of the duplex … and wanted to give the first chance to Emily and her husband!
She felt a new surge of joy swell in her heart at the idea. It was extra great because she would be able to move her aging parents in beside them. It didn’t take long for the paperwork to go through and the final plan to unfold.
They weren’t idiots. Before the glorious day, they made an LLC and confirmed the end of lease was soon – as well as had the notice papers ready.
It was with immeasurable pleasure she knocked on leopard lady’s door, handed over the notice, and asked for the rent. But that wasn’t the best part.
It turned out the wretched neighbor had just moved her mother in! The old woman wasn’t just mortified at her daughter’s behavior; she repeatedly and sincerely apologized for everything that had happened over the years.
“I didn’t raise my daughter to act like this kind of maniac!” Leopard lady turned beet red with rage and embarrassment.
It was an alliance Emily would have never imagined.
Not only did the old mother keep an exquisite and effective peace, but she also ended up being very pleasant company. Every Wednesday evening Emily and the woman had drinks and baked – and each time Tanya blistered in silent anger. But one thing held true.
Emily and her husband weren’t malicious people. She was more than happy to let them stay at base-necessity rent until they managed to find a new home.
Part of her was going to miss the old woman and their sudden, brief friendship. She was the neighbor she had dreamed of the entire time. In the end?
The house was finally emptied and moving trucks sped away. There was one last, spiteful (yet hilarious) letter left in their mailbox – on animal print paper no less.
Now, Emily could finally breathe. It was time to enjoy their slice of paradise.